Top 10 restaurants – Where to eat in Hanoi?

Do you have plan come to Hanoi Vietnam? And you are worry about where to eat in Hanoi? In this article, we will solve with the problem for you by the top 10 popular restaurants in Hanoi. The best Hanoi restaurants offer many stunning foods around the world. As you know, Vietnam has influences from most of France and China so restaurants make every meal an adventure. Tourists will have many options to down-to-earth local joints specialising in one type of dish, you are sure to find tastes of various foods in the most popular restaurants in the capital to suit.

1. Duong restaurant

For top of the line Vietnamese cuisine, give Duong’s Restaurant a visit and let them pamper you with world-class service as you enjoy fantastic local dishes. This restaurant makes some of the best local food that you’ll ever taste. And if you want to take some of their skills home with you, be sure to sign up for one of their acclaimed cooking classes. Duong restaurant is a traditional food court where can bring the regional specialties from across Vietnam, all cooked fresh to order. The chief – Hoang Duong who is voted in the Top Master Chef Vietnam prepared and the restaurant is beautifully designed in traditional Vietnamese style. In the next time, Duong restaurant will appear in Saigon, so if you go to Ho Chi Minh city, you completely search for the place to enjoy the meal.

Where to eat in Hanoi (2)

Address 1: 27 Ngo Huyen, Hang Trong street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Address 2: 101 Ma May, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Address 2: 27 Dong Du, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

2. Highway4

Hanoi Highway4 Hanoi is a restaurant attractive a numerous tourists by local Vietnamese dishes. For many years, a restaurant is a good option for the style of local artwork, bamboo furnishing, and floor cushions. Choosing this restaurant, you will be provided the various tastes, all food is served with plenty of local herbs which the restaurant tries to a source with the cooking techniques. There are plenty of exciting foods including the catfish spring rolls to grilled pork hanger steak. Without some traditional foods, you can try roasted lemon leaves, pan-fried scorpion, and frog steamboat. Highway4 Hanoi is also popular for serving a selection of Son Tinh flavored liquors. This restaurant offers many types of drink include draught beers, house spirits, imported wines, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and fresh juices.

Where to eat in Hanoi (3)

Address 1: 25 Bat Su Street in the Old Quarter, Hanoi
Address 2: 31 Xuan Dieu Street near West Lake, Hanoi

3. Sen Hanoi

Sen Hanoi tends to serve extensive buffet-style menus in sophistication. Actually, the chief understood the demand of tourists who are looking to sample a variety of Vietnamese cuisine in a single sitting. Sen Hanoi is the system of restaurants with three branches. Sen Hanoi is designed with a black-and-white theme, tablecloths, chandeliers, mirrors, wooden furnishing, a massive buffet area set up in the centre, and spacious seating arrangements. The tastes in menu adopt to plenty of Asian and European, including over 60 traditional dishes from three regions in Vietnam such as Vietnamese spring rolls, thenem sen (lotus rolls), cha ca (grilled fish), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and banh duc (Vietnamese cake). There are grilled lobsters, fresh salmon, oysters, sashimi, crab, and escargot. The atmosphere of restaurant is very interesting, but it can get very crowd during peak dinner hours. No doubt, the service here is professional and English-speaking staff. Sen Hanoi is famous by the good quality and diverse menu that’s also excellent value for money. Not only that Sen Hanoi’s buffet dinner will impress everyone – even people who don’t usually like buffets! Thus, it is a good idea to make a reservation before making your way to Sen Hanoi.

Where to eat in Hanoi (4)

Address 1: 60 Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Address 2: 61 Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Address 3: 614 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho district, Hanoi

4. Green Tangerine Restaurant

Hanoi Green Tangerine Restaurant Hanoi is more and more famous for the authentic Vietnamese and French cuisine. The brasserie-style restaurant is designed to the rustic décor, bare bricked walls, and antique furnishing. Green Tangerine Restaurant Hanoi tends to build the artful style. For example, duck breast carpaccio in red fruit is served with gizzard candied in ginger, eggplants rolled in spinach is presented on a lotus cake made with mashed carrots, taro, and cilantro. During the day, the cookers offer the two-course or three-course lunch set, which comes with a starter, main, and dessert. You will be satisfied with the homemade desserts in this restaurant such as apple crumble with red fruits sauce and Calvados, both of which are served with a scoop of ice cream. Green Tangerine Restaurant is one of the places Where to eat in Hanoi in order to make a reservation.

Where to eat in Hanoi (5)


Address: Hang Be street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi


KOTO stands for ‘Know One, Teach One’ where you can enjoy powerful Vietnamese coffee and all Vietnamese dishes. The atmosphere of KOTO is pleasant as it is a charitable local where offers the chance to learn a trade and earn a living by working in the restaurant. All staffs in this restaurant tend to make the happy atmosphere and a willingness to provide the best possible experience. You should try a Vietnamese Ice Coffee here and have renewed energy all day!

Where to eat in Hanoi (6)

Address: 59 Van Mieu Street (Opposite the Temple of Literature). Dong Da District

6. La Verticale Hanoi

La Verticale Hanoi is an elegant restaurant of stylish French by Chef Didier Courlou. Thus, the restaurant’s seasonal menus are cooked to French techniques as well as the region’s herbs, and spices. The restaurant is designed by the white walls and tiled floors intact, wooden furnishing with white tablecloths. It is said that La Verticale Hanoi always provides the comfortable armchairs and excellent views from the center of the capital. Choosing this restaurant, you can enjoy 5 spices of Hanoi, artichoke leaves in Dalat, Halong curry sauce, and Mekong fruits sorbet. Many delicious foods are set up on the menu with desserts and optional wine pairing. The most popular of La Verticale Hanoi’s drink is the imported wine such as Figaro, Moulin de Gassac, and South West of France. You will be offered bottled spices such as peppercorns, wild pepper, star anise, and aged nuoc cham sauce. When you enjoy the foods here, you will love a stylish spice shop that resembles an apothecary. La Verticale is evaluated excellent food-and-beverage, romantic ambiance, and old-world charm, but the price range is much higher than others.

Where to eat in Hanoi (7)

Address: 19 Ngo Van So Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

7. O’Douceurs Hanoi

Another place – where to eat in Hanoi is O’Douceurs which is built follow to French patisserie. Choosing this restaurant, you can enjoy fresh bread, and cakes like these smoothies, coffees, and teas in a cozy setting. This award-winning café is accessible within five-minute walk from the Hanoi Railway Station. O’Douceurs Hanoi offers a wide selection of sandwiches and croissants as well as desserts such as macaroons, fruit tarts, and cookies (available in vanilla, chocolate chip, and cinnamon). Thus, it is more and more attractive to foreigners. The chef combines the patisserie’s decadent chocolate fondue and the fresh strawberries, bananas, and cookies. Cakes are also must-tries here – we highly recommend the dark forest, vanilla raspberry eclair, and chocolate feuillantine.

Where to eat in Hanoi (8)

Address: 91A Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

8. Hanoi Social Club

The Hanoi Social Club is a popular club among the hip and trendy socialites of Hanoi. They often have musicians in to perform, which makes for intimate shows in a relaxing atmosphere. Hanoi Social Club is the place to visit in Hanoi if you are looking for a cool with amazing western brunch dishes. The coffee and smoothies are excellent. The menu centers around Mediterranean cuisine, with many excellent options for vegetarians as well. Whether you’re looking for a spot for brunch or a place to spend the evening, this is a fine choice. The soundtrack is varied and modern, there’s a library of books and free Wi-Fi.

Where to eat in Hanoi (1)

Address: 6 Hoi Vu, Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

9. Xuan Xuan restaurant

Xuan Xuan Restaurant might not win any award for style, but if you want to eat like a local this Vietnamese BBQ is just about the best in town. Coming here, you can order a selection of meats like pork, beef and goat udders combine with vegetables. This restaurant is more and more attractive tourists in Vietnamese BBQ. It’s a fun experience, eating the tastes you love and the taste is truly delicious. If you’re looking to try some fantastic bún chả – which is grilled pork, vermicelli noodles, veggies and spring rolls – then here’s one of the best spots in the city. They have a long history of serving this famous dish, and they’re only a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake, so you really have no excuse.

Where to eat in Hanoi (1)

Address: 47 Ma May Street, Old Quarter

10. 1946 Restaurant

1946 is one of those Vietnamese restaurants a Hanoian will bring you to for experience of the local cuisine and local atmosphere in a more comfortable environment than a street stall. Hidden down a small valley, it can be noisy and smoky but the food’s dependably good from a broad menu of Hanoian cuisine. Set over two levels, there are conventional tables and chairs downstairs. Upstairs dinner is seated on the floor at low tables. 1946’s location is a little out of the way which means tourists are not a big part of the crowd here. More than 1 million Vietnamese are thought to have died of starvation as the war caused upheaval in the economy and food supplies were diverted to Japanese troops. 1946 was also the year that Vietnam’s war of independence against the returning French colonial forces began. On our most recent visit, we couldn’t help but notice that the place was looking a tad grubby.

Where to eat in Hanoi (2)

Address: No.3 Ngo Yen Thanh, 61 Cua Bac, Hanoi

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Dear Mark: Supplement Q and A

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering several questions from the comment section of a previous post about my training supplementation. There were some fantastic ones.

I explain my favorite dinners and the latest I’ll eat it. After that, I give a couple ways to test (or not) the effects of these supposedly beneficial foods, nutrients, and supplements we all like discussing. I also tell how often I eat oysters, liver, and seaweed. Finally, I discuss collagen dosage and supplementation for IBS and Crohn’s.

What’s some of your favorite dinner menu items? What’s the latest you like to eat dinner?

My dinners are straightforward.

Favorites include:

Medium rare ribeye cooked in cast iron with sautéd spinach.
Steamed giant shrimp with melted butter (for dipping), broccoli, and asparagus.

I’ve been eating those for years, and they haven’t gotten old.

Latest I like to eat is 7:30. That changes if it’s a special occasion as when I’m out with friends or I’m on vacation.

If I’m not that hungry, I might end my eating window well before evening. I’m doing some light experimenting with “early time restricted feeding” (eat breakfast, skip dinner) and “sleep low” (don’t fully replenish carbs or calories after a tough workout; sleep on it and let fat burning maximize).


What is the best way to test and experiment with different foods, nutrients, and supplements on an individual basis? I read a lot about different things that work, but how can I test that for my body to determine if it makes a significant difference? Thanks.

One way is to just trust the stats. If—based on research, nutrition data, and evolutionary perspectives—a particular food just seems really, really healthy, you can integrate it into your diet and rest assured that it’s doing good things for you. Foods that fall into this category include red meat, leafy greens, colorful berries and veggies, pastured eggs, wild caught fish, and cruciferous vegetables, where the totality of evidence that they contain very helpful nutrients is overwhelming.

Another way is to determine what biomarker or health outcome the particular food, nutrient, or supplement purports to influence, and then track that biomarker before, during, and after you take the food, nutrient, or supplement. This gives you a baseline value (before) and allows you to observe the trend.

I’d love to know how often you eat particular supplementary foods, such as oysters, liver, & seaweeds

Oysters: I like the smoked oysters in olive oil from Crown Prince. I’ll do a can every week or so. If I’m out at a restaurant that has oysters (and it’s reasonably reputable), I’ll usually order a half dozen as appetizers. Sometimes I’ll get a hankering for oysters and have the fish guy at Whole Foods or wherever I am shuck a few behind the counter and slurp ’em down in the store.

Liver: I try to eat some form of liver once a week. Maybe a quarter to a half pound, usually closer to a quarter.

Seaweed: I throw dried kombu into broths and soups. If I’m out for sushi, I’ll get seaweed salad. I snack on nori once or twice a week.

Does collagen supplementation halt, or even potentially reverse hair loss? Also, what are your thoughts on the appropriate dosage? Is a larger dosage more appropriate when recovering from an injury?

Though it’s an important factor in hair strength and durability, I don’t know about collagen helping with hair loss. Perhaps it could by balancing out our methionine (from muscle meat) intake to promote a more anti-inflammatory, homeostatic internal environment.

A good dosage depends on what you’re looking for.

To get the amount of glycine (3 grams) used in studies to improve sleep quality, you’d need about 13 grams of collagen protein, or a scoop and change of my Collagen Peptides.

For basic maintenance in a healthy body, we need 10 grams of glycine each day. Our bodies make roughly 3 grams each day, on average, so we need to get at least 7 grams from our diets. If you aren’t getting any collagen through your food (an unrealistic scenario, especially for a Primal eater), that means taking around 30 grams of collagen protein, or 3 scoops of my collagen.

1-2 scoops, or 10-20 grams of collagen is a good safe range for most people.

When you’re recovering from an injury, you’re rebuilding tissue. That means your baseline requirements discussed earlier go up, and it’d be a good idea to push supplementary collagen toward the 20-30 gram range.

I’d love your suggestions for the best supplements to help ease the pain & inflammation associated with chronic IBS & Crohn’s disease.

Dealing with IBs or Crohn’s isn’t quick or easy. There are no magic solutions or pills.

That said:

Curcumin (from turmeric) shows promise, inducing remission of ulcerative colitis combined with medication (mesalamine) and helping patients in remission maintain remission. Smaller doses (450 mg), however, don’t seem to work as well as larger doses (3 grams).

Dairy, particularly yogurt and milk, shows promise. Yogurt reduces inflammatory markers in inflammatory bowel disease patients and prevents intestinal inflammation in mice injected with an agent designed to inflame the intestines. And in a recent observational study among Europeans, those who ate the most dairy and drank the most milk had a lower risk of inflammatory bowel diseases.

The best bet, again, is a full shift away from the standard way of eating. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which greatly reduces fibrous foods and eliminates grains, sugar, dairy, and processed food, performed well in a recent study of kids with Crohn’s. Ketogenic and even carnivorous diets get a lot of anecdotal support online as well. The key appears to be the initial removal of fermentable and other types of fiber, if only until things heal and you’re able to incorporate more and more.

And of course, stress, sleep, and all that other good stuff play big roles in the severity of and our susceptibility to these digestive disorders. You have to address all areas of your life.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care, be well, and leave a comment, ask or answer a question, and have a great rest of the week.

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How to Patch Your IDE to Fix an Urgent Bug

Clock’s ticking. JDK 11 will remove a bunch of deprecated modules through JEP 320, which includes the Java EE modules, which again includes JAXB, a dependency of many libraries, including jOOQ. Thus far, few people have upgraded to Java 9 or 10, as these aren’t LTS releases. Unlike in the old days, however, people will be forced much earlier to upgrade to Java 11, because Java 8 (the free version) will reach end of life soon after Java 11 is released:

End of Public Updates for Oracle JDK 8
As outlined in the Oracle JDK Support Roadmap below, Oracle will not post further updates of Java SE 8 to its public download sites for commercial use after January 2019

So, we library developers must act and finally modularise our libraries. Which is, quite frankly, a pain. Not because of the module system itself, which works surprisingly well. But because of the toolchain, which is far from being production ready. This mostly includes:

Maven (yuck:
Other libraries that aren’t modules yet

It’s still almost not possible to maintain a modularised project in an IDE (I’ve tried Eclipse and IntelliJ, not Netbeans so far) as there are still tons of bugs. Some of which are showstoppers, halting compilation in the IDE (despite compilation working in Maven). For example:

@Deprecated may cause AIOOBE
NullPointerException when importing deprecated class in Java 10 project

But rather than just complaining, let’s complain and fix it

Let’s fix our own IDE by patching it

Disclaimer: The following procedure assumes that you have the right to modify your IDE’s source and binaries. To my understanding, this is the case with the EPL licensed Eclipse. It may not be the case for other IDEs.

Disclaimer2: Note, as reddit user fubarbazqux so eloquently put it, there are cleaner ways to apply patches (and contribute them) to the Eclipse community, if you have more time. This article just displays a very easy way to do things without spending too much time to figure out how the Eclipse development processes work, internally. It shows a QUICK FIX recipe

The first bug was already discovered and fixed for Eclipse 4.8, but its RC4 version seems to have tons of other problems, so let’s not upgrade to that yet. Instead, let’s apply the fix that can be seen here to our own distribution:

It’s just a single line:

How do we do this?

First off, go to the Eclipse Packages Download page:

And download the “Eclipse IDE for Eclipse Committers” distribution:

It will contain all the Eclipse source code, which we’ll need to compile the above class. In the new workspace, create a new empty plugin project:

Specify the correct execution environment (in our case Java 10) and add all the Java Development Tools (JDT) dependencies:

Or just add all the available dependencies, it doesn’t really matter.

You can now open the type that you want to edit:

Now, simply copy the source code from the editor and paste it in a new class inside of your project, which you put in the same package as the original (split packages are still possible in this case, yay)

Inside of your copy, apply the desired patch and build the project. Since you already included all the dependencies, it will be easy to compile your copy of the class, and you don’t have to build the entirety of Eclipse.

Now, go to your Windows Explorer or Mac OS X Finder, or Linux shell or whatever and find the compiled class:

This class can now be copied into the Eclipse plugin. How to find the appropriate Eclipse plugin? Just go to your plugin dependencies and check out the location of the class you’ve opened earlier:

Open that plugin from your Eclipse distribution’s /plugins folder using 7zip or whatever zipping tool you prefer, and overwrite the original class file(s). You may need to close Eclipse first, before you can write to the plugin zip file. And it’s always a good idea to make backup copies of the original plugin(s).

Be careful that if your class has any nested classes, you will need to copy them all, e.g.

MyClass$1.class // Anonymous class
MyClass$Nested.class // Named, nested class

Restart Eclipse, and your bug should be fixed!

How to fix my own bugs?

You may not always be lucky to find a bug with an existing fix in the bug tracker as in the second case:

No problemo, we can hack our way around that as well. Launch your normal Eclipse instance (not the “Eclipse IDE for Eclipse Committers” one) with a debug agent running, by adding the following lines to your eclipse.ini file:


Launch Eclipse again, then connect to your Eclipse from your other “Eclipse IDE for Eclipse Committers” instance by connecting a debugger:

And start setting breakpoints wherever you need, e.g. here, in my case:

at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.problem.ProblemHandler.handle(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.problem.ProblemHandler.handle(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.problem.ProblemReporter.handle(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.problem.ProblemReporter.deprecatedType(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.problem.ProblemReporter.deprecatedType(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.lookup.CompilationUnitScope.checkAndRecordImportBinding(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.lookup.CompilationUnitScope.faultInImports(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.lookup.CompilationUnitScope.faultInTypes(
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.compiler.Compiler.process(
at Source)

And start analysing the problem like your own bugs. The nice thing is, you don’t have to fix the problem, just find it, and possibly comment out some lines of code if you think they’re not really needed. In my case, luckily, the regression was introduced by a new method that is applied to JDK 9+ projects only:

String deprecatedSinceValue(Supplier<AnnotationBinding[]> annotations) {
// …

The method will check for the new @Deprecated(since=”9″) attribute on the @Deprecated annotation. Not an essential feature, so let’s just turn it off by adding this line to the source file:

String deprecatedSinceValue(Supplier<AnnotationBinding[]> annotations) {
if (true) return;
// …

This will effectively prevent the faulty logic from ever running. Not a fix, but a workaround. For more details about this specific issue, see the report. Of course, never forget to actually report the issue to Eclipse (or whatever your IDE is), so it can be fixed thoroughly for everyone else as well

Compile. Patch. Restart. Done!


Java is a cool platform. It has always been a very dynamic language at runtime, where compiled class files can be replaced by new versions at any moment, and re-loaded by the class loaders. This makes patching code by other vendors very easy, just:

Create a project containing the vendors’ code (or if you don’t have the code, the binaries)
Apply a fix / workaround to the Java class that is faulty (or if you don’t have the code, decompile the binaries if you are allowed to)
Compile your own version
Replace the version of the class file from the vendor by yours

This works with all software, including IDEs. In the case of jOOQ, all our customers have the right to modification, and they get the sources as well. We know how useful it is to be able to patch someone else’s code. This article shows it. Now, I can continue modularising jOOQ, and as a side product, improve the tool chain for everybody else as well.

Again, this article displayed a QUICK FIX approach (some call it “hack”). There are more thorough ways to apply patches / fixes, and contribute them back to the vendor.

Another, very interesting option would be to instrument your runtime and apply the fix only to byte code:

Could have use a Java agent to modify the class even without fixing it in the Eclipse source. Makes it easier to upgrade.

— Rafael Winterhalter (@rafaelcodes) June 15, 2018


A note on IntelliJ and NetBeans

Again, I haven’t tried NetBeans yet (although I’ve heard its Java 9 support has been working very well for quite a while).

While IntelliJ’s Jigsaw support seems more advanced than Eclipse’s (still with a few flaws as well), it currently has a couple of performance issues when compiling projects like jOOQ or jOOλ. In a future blog post, I will show how to “fix” those by using a profiler, like:

Java Mission Control (can be used as a profiler, too)

Profilers can be used to very easily track down the main source of a performance problem. I’ve reported a ton to Eclipse already. For instance, this one:

Where a lot of time is being spent in the processing of Task Tags, like:


The great thing about profiling this is:

You can report a precise bug to the vendor
You can find the flawed feature and turn it off as a workaround. Turning off the above task tag feature was a no-brainer. I’m not even using the feature.

So, stay tuned for another blog post, soon.

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Jido Maps is building a ‘save button’ for persistent AR worlds

Augmented reality tech is in this incredibly weird position where it has the world’s biggest tech companies cheerleading consumer-facing products highlighting it but there are some very base issues that haven’t been solved yet.

Jido Maps, which just graduated from Y Combinator’s most recent class, is another startup aiming to deliver the backend technologies needed to give a great fundamental AR experience. They have just raised a $2.1 million seed round led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from GREE, Seraph Group, Outpost Capital and others.

Persistence is a big part of what current consumer technologies are lacking. Jido sees itself as a “save button” for the digital AR world, where after gaining an understanding of the space, it can recall where your augmented reality session ended and how the objects within that experience were left in the space.

So, more practically, if you are holding a digital banana and you put that on the table, Jido may enable that to remain in that space when you return at a later date or time. That process of relocalizing a device and helping it remember its former position is at the core of this technology.

What’s interesting about the rhetoric that Jido’s leadership is putting out there is that the company is less focused on the point clouds and seems to be more focused on underlying structure of a space and deciphering the relationship between objects and what fixtures are permanent. The company says that this approach will ultimately give the platform more strength in ignoring changes, so if you’re scanning a space with people moving around, Jido can ignore them and focus on the static fixtures without everything breaking.

“To actually have a robust, integrated augmented reality experience you have to take a different approach,” Jido Maps CEO Mark Stauber told TechCrunch. “The reason why we’re excited about our higher level approach to semantic data is because when we go into a space, we’re not there to catch a couple of nice interesting points about the scene, we actually try to understand the structure of a space and the relationship between objects…”

The startup is aiming to get studios working with their lightweight API and is highlighting its simple multiplayer process, which focuses on building the mesh as you play rather than pre-scanning an environment at the beginning to entice devs. Game studio Happy Giant is working on a title with Jido tech called QuasAR, which will give users a simple setup multi-player laser tag experience.

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Leap Into VR/AR Design

Virtual reality is no longer in the realm of science fiction. Immersive technology desperately needs skilled designers to jump in, get involved, take risks, and create something new. Leap into VR/AR!

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Top 10 Posts from 2016: How to Read Financial News, Active Investing

The end of the year is a good time to look back and take stock. What Enterprising Investor articles did readers find most compelling in 2016? The results are illuminating. Our top content runs the gamut from the granular — tightly focused, practice-oriented material on starting a firm and what to read to stay informed — to more “big picture” analysis on negative interest rates and the ongoing active vs. passive debate. Taken together, they reflect the currents at work in the investment management profession at both the system-wide and individualized levels.

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I love VR because you can act like a jerk and nobody cares

Do you ever get the urge to act like a bit of a jerk in public?

I’m not talking about pure cruelty here, mind. I’m thinking more along the lines of knocking over an intricate row of dominoes while someone is carefully lining them up, or flicking the base of a house of cards just as the final one is about to be put into place. You’d never actually do something like that of course, but that little devil on your shoulder sure would like to see it happen…

How about wandering into a house party, downing a bottle of champagne in one go and then roaring as you smash the glass bottle against a wall? That kind of swagger is probably acceptable for high profile rock stars and over-the-top characters in raunchy teen comedies but for your normal everyday person? I don’t think they could get away with it.

Read more…

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The Wrap: Continuity the key as Crusaders march onwards

Earlier this year, Hamish Riach, CEO of the Crusaders, explained to me how, in the light of the Crusaders’ ongoing dominance of Super Rugby and interest in Scott Robertson’s coaching methods, he had fielded an “unprecedented number of requests to examine our environment, understand how our coaches work, and find a mysterious ‘key’ to our success.”

All of those requests, including approaches from administrators and coaches around the world, and a TV proposal to produce an in-depth, behind the scenes, ‘warts and all’ account of what makes the Crusaders and Robertson tick, have been politely turned away, partly so as to prevent unnecessary distraction, and partly to protect the Crusaders’ intellectual property.

Remember when only special people had a mobile phone? Riach clearly understands that what is special is no longer special if everyone has the same thing.

So while the rest of the rugby world is kept in the dark to ponder if it is a secret blend of goat milk and Yuzu juice that drives the Crusaders’ success, there is one vital piece of information that lies in the public domain that tells us much of what we need to know.

More than any other Super Rugby franchise, the Crusaders understand the power of continuity; culturally within their organisation, and in their playing roster.

It is a virtue that has served them famously; from the foundation of the Canterbury Rugby Union in 1879 through 22 years of Super Rugby, delivering eight wins and four runners-up finishes, including in 2011 when damage to their stadium as a result of the Christchurch earthquake resulted in every single match being played away from home.

Not for the Crusaders the boom and bust, roller coaster rides that are the norm for mere mortal franchises. New players are not so much introduced but indoctrinated. Of course, they are challenged and encouraged to use their individual skills (Mitchell Hunt’s audacious dropped goal to beat the Highlanders and David Havili’s developing expression from fullback last year just two examples), but most of all, every player unfailingly serves the team.

Mitch Hunt Crusaders Super Rugby Union 2017

(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Having anointed the Crusaders 2018 champions a few weeks back I’m not about to go back on that now. But for any die-hard Lions fan or neutral desperately searching for a chink in the Crusaders’ armour, here’s a tasty fact to consider: the side that defeated the Hurricanes 30-12 on Saturday contained 14 of the starting 15 that played last year’s’ final. Throw in six from eight off the bench for good measure, and you get the picture.

The odd man out is winger George Bridge, starting for Israel Dagg – a change that, on current form, can hardly be said to weaken the side.

It’s an astonishing tale of continuity, and the primary reason why the Crusaders will start at prohibitive odds to make it nine wins from 23 next Saturday.

The Lions, by contrast, had 11 players start their semi-final against the Waratahs that played in last year’s’ decider – not bad, but not in the same league, particularly when you add the coaching changeover from Johan Ackermann to Swys de Bruin into the mix.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley indicated after his side’s win that he had watched the Crusaders snuff out the Hurricanes earlier in the day, and pointed to how adept the Crusaders are at all facets of the game, with no apparent weaknesses.

Whiteley is a fine man who treats media and fans with respect and courtesy, and who is consistently transparent and honest in his comments. Indeed, the worst thing that can be said about him is that his leadership aura is slightly diminished each time he looks towards the sideline for guidance or instruction after his side receives a penalty.

He leads a proud and capable side, but there was no hiding the fact that – six days out from the final with 11,500 kilometres of air miles to squeeze in – Whiteley was not in possession of any hitherto unknown secret to success in Christchurch.

Certainly the Hurricanes, despite a resurgence of sorts in the final few weeks, had no answers, only a final-minute try to the competition’s leading try-scorer, Ben Lam, providing a semblance of respect on the scoreboard.

The Ngani Laumape versus Ryan Crotty contest in the midfield proved to be a fizzer, with the Hurricanes unable to find a way to bring Laumape into the game on their terms. Perhaps the Canes were avoiding telegraphing their approach, but thighs like the ones Laumape possesses aren’t made for grubber-kicking.

It was satisfying to see Julian Savea throw himself into his work with renewed verve – too late to rescue his All Black career, but a reminder of what made him the world’s most premier winger when he was at his best. Although Braydon Ennor scored the Crusaders’ final try unmarked on the right flank, Savea’s effort to prevent it being scored in the left corner moments before was first-class.

For the winners, Keiran Read is building nicely into his season – precise on the tackle and keen to carry. Havili seems to be regaining confidence and the midfield combination between Crotty and Jack Goodhue continues to evolve.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 29: Kieran Read of the Crusaders looks on during the Super Rugby Semi Final match between the Crusaders and the Chiefs at AMI Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Crotty did, however, provide his customary head-knock scare – while it’s usually an honour to have a grandstand or similar named after you, the ‘Ryan Crotty HIA Center’ probably isn’t what he had in mind.

There was plenty of post-match discussion around the comparative merits of the two flyhalves, Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett, and while the impressive Mo’unga undoubtedly took the honours, it might be prudent to leave further scrutiny of Barrett until after we see him on the end of a few Aaron Smith specials behind a firing All Blacks’ pack.

There was a familiar ring to the Waratahs’ brave but ultimately futile effort in Johannesburg – last year the Hurricanes scored the first three tries of their semi-final and skipped out to a 20-point lead before being overrun by the Lions 44-29.

This time the Waratahs – high on energy and intent – scored twice through Ned Hanigan and Israel Folau and led 14-0, but with the Lions having recovered the deficit to draw level at half-time, and dominating at scrum and maul, there was never any real question of an upset victory.

The chip kick on return is more often than not a low-percentage play but with the Waratahs absent a sweeper in behind the front defensive line and Aphiwe Dyantyi possessing the speed of a gazelle and the swerve of a Wasim Akram thunderbolt, it provided a thrilling try and bought the home crowd right back into the match.

Earlier, the pugnacious Kwagga Smith had found a try where there shouldn’t really have been one, before going on to repeat the dose in the second half – in between tag-teaming with Malcolm Marx to cement their reputation as the premier breakdown turnover specialists in Super Rugby.

Kwagga Smith

(Christiann Kotze/AFP/Getty Images)

The stream of breakdown penalties highlighted the dangers of running at the Lions; the Waratahs’ energetic approach introducing fatigue as a contributing factor for support players to fall half a step behind and miss crucial cleanouts. None of which is intended as criticism of coach Daryl Gibson’s tactics – they were never going to engineer nor win a 9-6 grind against this Lions side, at altitude, in what were perfect, afternoon conditions.

Fatigue wasn’t a factor in the sin-binning of replacement hooker Damien Fitzpatrick – he had only just come onto the field – but it was a reminder that margins at this level can be very slight, and laziness and lack of self-awareness are punished heavily. With Fitzpatrick off, the Lions mauled for Marx’s second try – the impressive Franco Mostert at the heart of it – and gained a lead they would never relinquish.

The Waratahs left nothing in Johannesburg, and can justifiably be proud of a sharply improved season. If the Sydney fans who have stayed at home this year are prepared to treat their side at face value, they deserve to be much better supported next year.

As for the Lions, they have clearly ticked up a couple of gears since the June international window. In fact, the two finalists have arrived at this year’s showpiece in pretty much the same state they were last year – the difference being that this time, the final is being held in Christchurch.

Opening odds in excess of $8 in a two-horse race seem ludicrous for a side as worthy as the Lions. On the other hand, it is hard to escape the feeling that their moment was 12 months ago, not next weekend.

For the second successive week, refereeing was a non-issue, Glenn Jackson and Jaco Peyper both having solid games. Some will extrapolate that as being due to their ‘neutrality’, while logic suggests that it was due to their competence, regardless of which country they or the competing teams originate from.

It is interesting to consider the two recent Super Rugby finals where there have been controversial refereeing decisions – Jaco Peyper sending Kwagga Smith off last year for a dangerous challenge on David Havili, and Craig Joubert penalising Richie McCaw to allow Bernard Foley to kick the winning goal for the Waratahs in 2014.

Peyper was a ‘hometown’ referee ruling against the home side, and Joubert a ‘neutral’ making a crucial decision that he reportedly later apologised to McCaw about for making incorrectly. What this shows is that referees will continue to get things right and wrong regardless of where they come from.

As for the ‘perception of neutrality’ argument, the fact that Super Rugby is a franchise/club competition, not an international competition, seems to have been lost in the debate – perhaps another example of SANZAAR’s inability to positively influence the public discourse around the competition.

Let’s remember that next week’s appointee, Angus Gardner, is only ‘neutral’ because the Lions happened to beat the Waratahs. If that result had gone the other way, be in no doubt that the Crusaders would have had no issue with Gardner getting the job.

There is one quick questionfor Gardner, however, that I’d like he and his assistants to consider before the final. Why is the touchline treated with precision and certainty in normal play, but has somehow become irrelevant and invisible when a hooker throws the ball into the lineout?

Article link: The Wrap: Continuity the key as Crusaders march onwards. Written by Geoff Parkes, on The Roar – Your Sports Opinion.

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